The Blog

20 Jun

A Monkey Stole My Dignity (And a Few Other Things): How to Cross Cultures Gracefully

I seem to have a knack for finding the most difficult path when it comes to learning life lessons. Maybe you don’t have this problem and have the ability to avoid the difficulties I tend to find myself facing. Honestly, I never do it on purpose, but I always end up in the craziest situations. That’s true of my life in general. Add going overseas and crossing cultures, and you can’t imagine the types of predicaments I find myself in. For example, the time a monkey stole my underwear in Thailand.

16 Jun

Reflections From the Streets: Experiencing Homelessness in San Francisco

Personal Journal Entry: February 28, 2017

This is the morning of Day Two of “First Hand Experience,” a three-day trial in homelessness that is part of the 20-year tradition of InnerCHANGE’s “San Francisco Outer Circle” Team. The idea is simple: you can better serve the homeless community if you have some idea of what it’s like to be homeless. It should be noted that a three-day trial of sleeping on the street is different than living on the street. That said, three days, even a day and a half of being homeless does quickly change one’s perspective of the lives of our friends here, and some of the practical daily challenges that they have to live with.

13 Jun

Real Friendships, Real Evangelism: Tips and Challenges

Hospitality and developing genuine relationships are at the heart of our ministry approach, but it wasn’t always that way for me. With my conservative evangelical background and living in the South, I used to take trips with a student group to knock on doors and hand out gospel tracts. We’d show up for five days in a place, then go back to our own town and never see those people again. It was transactional: here’s my message, will you accept it, yes or no? Despite the fact that this was very different from the way my own faith grew, the idea of building relationship first before inviting a person to consider Jesus was completely against the grain for me.

06 Jun

Starting Gospel Movements in Europe: Introducing the OxfordHUB

What does this tell us about God?

How will your life be different this week because of what you’ve heard?

More than 50 junior high students were gathered in groups to discover what the Bible had to say about their lives. A dozen of them were brand new followers of Jesus who had discovered Jesus for the first time through this Bible Club.

The setting? Recess at a junior high school in Oxford, England.

01 Jun

Connecting With People of Peace [Free Resource]

People are at the center of gospel movements—people who God wants to redeem, people who are hungry to know God and experience his truth in their lives.

30 May

Taking Action: 5 Ways to Breathe Out

We all know that we need to breathe in order to survive. During my time with InnerCHANGE in South Africa, I learned that to engage the world in a balanced, life-giving way, I also needed to take figurative breaths—breathing in by pausing for contemplation, and breathing out by acting in hope-filled ways. You can find five simple ideas for breathing in through contemplation at my previous post. After you breathe in, you have to breathe out!

25 May

Take a Deep Breath In: 5 Ways to Deepen Ministry Through Contemplation

“[Contemplation] is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom—freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter.”–Archbishop Rowan Williams

In the Psalms we read the often-quoted verse of “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). In our everyday lives it's not always easy to be intentionally still.

23 May

They Kept Coming Back: How to Change a Prison

A local Free Methodist church working with CRM’s reFocusing team discovered they had several law-enforcement people in their congregation. This was news to them. At the same time, they discovered there were three prisons within their city limits. So they chose to make the correctional officers at one of these prisons their first “strategic initiative” to demonstrate the good news of Jesus outside of their church walls.

19 May

Weeds of Faith [Devotional]

Are you familiar with the parable of the mustard seed? Jesus’s disciples are questioning “why they couldn’t drive out the demon?” Jesus answers with this: “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here, to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

All my life I grew up thinking about that little mustard seed and what could be accomplished with such little faith. I would like to share what I’ve learned about that little seed and why these words from Jesus meant so much to the disciples he was talking to, starting with something that surprised me.

16 May

Standing With My Neighbors: Justice in Miami

Our InnerCHANGE Miami team is located in Coconut Grove, a once bustling Bahamian community of 30,000 Afro-Carribean residents—now home to less than 3,000. Our streets show the telltale signs of “renovation” and “revival,” with brightly colored, shotgun-style Bahamian homes torn down as sleek, modern condos rapidly take their place.